Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Music

The Skoog 2.0 is described as a totally new kind of musical instrument

Initially developed for kids with disabilities, Edinburgh-based Skoogmusic has spent the last four years delivering its colorful and tactile Skoog digital music-making instrument to almost 2,000 schools around the world. Now the company is eyeing the consumer space with the development of version 2.0, which benefits from a much-reduced cost of entry, new mobile companion apps, wireless capabilities and battery-powered portability.  Read More

The DNone next generation guitar travel case

For a prized, and likely very expensive, instrument, touring can be fraught with danger. Threats from knocks, bumps and scrapes lurk menacingly at every turn so investing in some form of protection is vital, but not all hard cases are made equal. After noting stagnation in guitar case technology, Timbre Cases founder Peter McMath set about designing the next generation of instrument travel protection. It's taken two years of R&D, but the company is now readying its tough dreadnought-shaped DNone case for release, which features a shock absorbent, water-resistant outer shell, humidity control and recessed wheels.  Read More

The Wearhaus Arc is aimed at making sharing music personal again

Headphones are, by their very nature, a solo experience. They enclose the user with his or her music, and block out the world around them. Wearhaus aims to change that with its new Arc headphones, that promise to allow users to connect with each other by streaming music to other Arc wearers.  Read More

YouTube has launched an invite-only beta of a subscription music service

YouTube's long-rumored music service will soon be a reality, Google announced Wednesday. Dubbed YouTube Music Key, the monthly subscription service launched an invite-only beta with minimal details.  Read More

iRig HD and AmpliTube begin Android invasion

IK Multimedia has announced that its iRig HD guitar interface is breaking free of its iOS/Mac chains and moving into Android territory. Following hot on the heels of Samsung's Pro-Audio SDK 2.0 platform release, IK has now revealed the Android-friendly iRig HD-A and a special version of its AmpliTube virtual rig app.  Read More

When you dive into the app it becomes pretty clear how much effort Parrot has put into its...

Around two years after the release of its Zik headphones, Parrot is again looking to prick up the ears of audiophiles after a wireless listening solution. The Zik 2.0 headphones are to be released next week, and after a little hands on time with its new set of cans, our early observations are they provide an impressive listening experience.  Read More

Gorkem Sen's extraordinary Yaybahar: an acoustic instrument that sounds like a digital syn...

Here's one out of left field. Turkish musician Gorkem Sen has invented a new kind of musical instrument that incorporates fretted strings, coiled springs and drum membranes to create a range of haunting, evocative and beautiful sounds we've never heard before – at least, not this side of a synthesizer.  Read More

Alpine's new iLX-007 is the company's first to feature Apple's CarPlay technology

Apple's CarPlay is a feature designed to bring many of the best aspects of iOS directly to the dashboard of a user's car. Up to this point, not many head units have actually been released outside of Volvo including it in the XC90 and Pioneer's new system. Now, Alpine is jumping into the CarPlay market with the introduction of its iLX-007 head unit.  Read More

The Expressiv MIDI Guitar system from RORGuitars

Keyboard players, digital drummers and DJs have been dipping into synthesized sonic magic for a long time, but until quite recently, electric guitarists have been left a little wanting. A good example of the progress being made is Fishman's TriplePlay wireless MIDI system. Rather than rely on an externally-mounted hexaphonic pickup of the kind found in TriplePlay, though, Ireland's Rob O'Reilly uses smart fretboard scanning technology for his Expressiv MIDI Guitar System. As well as promising zero latency when in MIDI mode, the instrument also sports "normal" pickups so players can chop and change between analog and digital sounds at the flick of a switch.  Read More

The K-Board USB MIDI keyboard can survive being run over by a tour van and a drop from a 2...

Virtual pianos and synths in mobile device apps are great fun but nothing really gets your creative juices flowing like a real keyboard. If you want to marry the virtual and real worlds and find devices like Ion Audio's Piano Apprentice just a little too traditional, the similarly-priced K-Board from Keith McMillen Instruments might just tick your boxes. The portable 13-inch USB MIDI keyboard is reported compatible with all USB tablets and laptops, as well as leading music creation software like GarageBand, Ableton Live, NI Komplete and Animoog, and has been built to survive life on the road.  Read More

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